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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yahoo, Google, Amazon, Dish Bidding on Hulu -- But They Have Concerns: Apple and Microsoft fail to bring in a bid.




Yahoo, Google, Amazon and Dish have bid or are about to bid on the video streaming site, Hulu, according to an individual with knowledge of the auction.
 
Other companies including DirectTV are also expected to submit non-binding bids by the deadline of this weekend, which will allow them greater access to Hulu’s financials.
 
A handful of mainly new media companies have expressed formal interest in buying the site, which has been put up for sale by co-owners Comcast, News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Providence Equity.
 
But even those companies circling the streaming service have significant questions about its value. 
Bidders say that documents released thus far show that Hulu is not yet profitable, despite its rising revenues of $500 million in 2011. And the content deals in place with media providers such as CBS, NBC and the like expire in one year in some instances and do not extend longer than five years in any case.
 
That makes it hard for Hulu to justify its asking price of $2 billion. 
 
“The challenge with all this over-the-top stuff is – what is the sustainable business model?” an executive at one of the bidders told TheWrap. “Are you confident that you can generate a profit?”

Hollywood Survey by Actors Fund on Housing


Hollywood members, please click here to take a survey from The Actors Fund about your housing needs. http://www.creativespacela.org/
www.sag.org
The Actors Fund, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and its partner organizations have formally launched a survey on the housing needs of the Los Angeles entertainment, performing and visual arts communities.

The Weinstein Co. is blowing some smoke ... at Disney/ABC.


On Thursday, the independent film studio decried how the ABC television network has been refusing to air a commercial for its upcoming ensemble comedy "Our Idiot Brother," about a family dealing with an irresponsible stoner, played by Paul Rudd.  The Weinstein Co. said the Walt Disney Co.-owned network had refused to run the ad unless the studio cut material that the network found objectionable.
IdiotBrotherThe commercial in question includes drug references and a bit in which the Rudd character pretends to pee on a trampoline. In the commercial's final scene, the Rudd character twice tells his parole officer he had gotten high with a neighbor kid.
The Weinstein Co. said ABC issued the following demands:
"Please Remove the Visual of the Exchange of What is Assumed to be Drugs.  Please Remove the Visual of the Character Using the Juice Box to Depict Urination.  Please Remove the References to Getting High and Smoking."
The Weinstein Co.'s principals, Harvey and Bob Weinstein, famously divorced from Disney in 2005 after a productive 12-year run. It is not unusual for companies to submit advertisements they know will be "banned" as a way to generate publicity. And the Weinstein brothers are nearly as famous in Hollywood for getting outsized attention for their movies as the movies themselves. 
The New York-based company issued a news release to gleefully protest its treatment by ABC and provided a link to YouTube to see the rejected commercial. The movie opens Friday.
"The ad is already airing in its current form on other broadcast and cable networks," the Weinstein Co. said in its statement.
ABC said it has "approved and accepted multiple spots for 'Our Idiot Brother,' and has aired spots for this film," but that it would not air commercials that "violated our long-established Ad Guidelines."
-- Meg James
Photo: A scene from "Our Idiot Brother," with Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks. Credit: Nicole Rivelli / The Weinstein Co.

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Suicide among gay, lesbian and sexual minority youth...a new scholarly journal perspective

Just published in the JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENCE:
"Understanding suicide among sexual minority youth in America:
An ecological systems analysis"
by Jun Sung Hong et al. [J Adolescence 34 (2011) 885–894.]
Important and timely!